Alison Carter is third civilian to receive Governor’s Veteran Advocacy Award

Inside the Gates
Alison Carter is third civilian to receive Governor’s Veteran Advocacy Award
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:45 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Alison Carter holds an award very few civilians in Alaska have — she is one of three civilians to have ever win the Governor of Alaska’s Veteran Advocacy Award. Carter was presented with the award on Veterans Day for her large dedication to the military community in Alaska. Specifically, for her foundation of the Veteran’s Therapeutic Court. The first ever of its kind for the city of Fairbanks.

“It’s a lot of moving parts. And it’s a lot for just a single person to try and navigate,” Verdie Bowen, the Alaska Director of Veteran Affairs, said. “Alison Carter was chosen because of all the work she put into that Veterans Court. A matter of fact, the amount of work that she had to navigate was insurmountable.”

The Fairbanks Veterans Court is a wellness court with the focus of assisting military members who are charged with misdemeanors related to drugs and alcohol. The idea sparked for Carter after she met a veteran who went through the process.

“He was a person that had worked through the veterans court in Philadelphia, and he had explained to her how it saved his life, and this sort of allowed her to see what a veteran goes through as they go through the wellness court. She thought that it was a great thing to do within the Fairbanks community,” Bowen said.

From there, Carter enrolled in law school — at the age of 57. In 2016 she graduated and returned back to Alaska to start paving the way into creating the establishment.

The establishment of the facility in Fairbanks, Bowen said, will help many people who would otherwise have to travel to Anchorage to receive treatment. The program allows them to seek help right in their own backyard.

“It has very high success rate. Most of our veterans you see go through that court, you will never see them again go to a court room,” Bowen said.

“Having a wellness court there, closer to the resources that the veteran knows and understands. And the families that the veterans are close to, they’re going to have a better chance for success.”

The Fairbanks location serves the entire northern part of the state.